06.06.07

Gemini version available ♊︎

Analogy: Novell Kills the Golden Goose for Its Golden Eggs

Posted in Deals, Finance, GNU/Linux, GPL, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Various deals that involve Novell are occasionally being mentioned in news. We have been accumulating these until ‘Do-No-Evil Saturday’ arrives. That’s when Novell usually gets a praise or two, just for a change, maybe a refreshing contrast. Among those items we were about to include the Capgemini deal with Novell, which is very explicitly a ‘mixed source‘. Here is a fragment from the press release.

Capgemini and Novell Enter Broad Mixed-Source Partnership

Capgemini endorses SUSE Linux Enterprise platform from Novell and provides consulting services and support for Novell open source and proprietary software

A lot has been said before (here and elsewhere) about the dangers of this ‘mixed source’ strategy. It bends Open Source and transforms it to fit a more closed and proprietary vocation, which also excludes the supplier. There is a long discussion about this over at Groklaw. It explains why Novell’s “mixed source” model is truly a menace. It also explains why Capgemini made a mig mistake by choosing Novell.

So this is the dream. Mixed source. How foolish is that? You lose the primary benefit of Linux, namely the flexibility to do pretty much whatever you want with it as a customer. And it’s bound to be a very short and bumpy ride. The Xandros deal, to my mind, makes litigation pretty much inevitable.

This whole Novell-Microsoft saga to me was kind of like a hostile takeover of GPL code, or an attempt at it, to neuter it so as to make that code go more proprietary whether it wants to or not. Folks who like the proprietary ways better and didn’t much like the GPL, or don’t understand its value, thought the license doesn’t mean what it says or that they could get cute with it and make oodles and boodles of money by selling code that belongs to other people in ways those authors told them in their license they don’t like.

Well, the GPL does mean what it says. And if you steal the Golden Egg and in so doing kill the Golden Goose that laid it, what have you accomplished? The development method that makes the code so much better is the Golden Goose, and the GPL is central to the health of that Goose. I suppose that is why Microsoft wants to get it neutered or eaten for dinner, but why would anyone else help them, particularly someone selling or wanting to buy Linux? You cut off your own future, or make it subject to Microsoft’s whims.

In other news, Novell will hold a shareholders meeting within a few of month.

Novell, Inc. today announced that its 2007 annual meeting of stockholders will be held on Aug. 30, 2007.

Their last report was not quite so satisfactory and left much to be desired. Then again, Novell has not descended to ‘SCO level’.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

5 Comments

  1. Ian said,

    June 7, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Gravatar

    “It bends Open Source and transforms it to fit a more closed and proprietary vocation, which also excludes the supplier.”

    That’s off base. Take OES Linux(Open Enterprise Server) as an example. At its core it’s SLES 9 which has had no direct complaints lobbied against it as being mixed source or some sort of parasite. All OES does it put proprietary packages on top of SLES 9. It does not change any part of the GPL based software and make it proprietary.

    Mixed source in this context does not mean the merging of open source code and proprietary code. It’s a matter of stacking proprietary apps on top of an open source framework. IBM, often lauded as an open source hero, does the same thing.

    As for why Novell doesn’t do away with their proprietary software which is the next logical question? Chances are, it’s a fiscal burden with small or zero benefit. Honestly, how many hobiests want to work on eDirectory or GroupWise. The Hula project under Novell died a horrible death because hobbyists just didn’t care.

  2. Sebastiaan Veld said,

    June 9, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Gravatar

    As Ian states, all they do is run closed source on an open source framework. I feel that a good model, also I do feel that works out really good for most of us (customers). A lot of peolpe just know Linux, so that makes it more easy to deploy it and then get the services you need running on it; either closed or open source. Most of us just don’t -really- care about these being either open or closed, we pay for these services cause we need them to do business. In these cases there is just not a viable open source alternative.

    As for Novell a lot of open source projects they are in (Radius, DNS, DHCP, Linux Kernel, Open Office, virtualisaten, document enchange, Gnome, and many others) in are being extened for working integrated or with Novell’s more proprietary services like eDirectory, NSS, GroupWise. Basicly a lot of code found in these project flows back as being open source and so to the community. That means at the end a larger use base. And (what I feel is just the reason why the ‘base’ must be open) for everyone to use, as also Novell can use what another adds to the source. THAT will accelerate adoption of open souce in general and Linux as an OS.

    For Novell the agreement with Microsoft is just a way to get into these company’s depending mostly on MS stuff today. Now being able to introduct Linux and other services (either open or closed source) that interoperate with existing infrastructure give a smooth path for these company’s to move to Linux and open souce. I feel that will be good for Linux and for the community

    I think there really is no danger in ‘mixed source’, as enhancement to GLP’d code do and must flow back to the community. Closed source services running on top of Linux may just stay closed cause, as Ian also did states, there’s just a too small user base interesed in enhancing it and that might just slow down development (as we have seen with Hula). I think Novell will open open more and more as we go forward, but things just need time.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 9, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Gravatar

    > For Novell the agreement with Microsoft is
    > just a way to get into these company’s
    > depending mostly on MS stuff today.

    I haven’t a doubt. Some things here benefit Novell’s business, but these are outweighted by many of the other conditions Novell has committed itself to. That is the purpose of the site, as matter of fact. We strive to show what it is that encouraged Microsoft to shell out $0.3 billion. Compared with $2 billion paid to Sun, Novell got a terrible deal for selling out Free software and its community. Novell shares a bed in a loveaffair whose ultimate aspiration is to kill the Golden Goose.

  4. Sebastiaan Veld said,

    June 10, 2007 at 5:13 am

    Gravatar

    >Novell shares a bed in a loveaffair whose ultimate aspiration is to kill the >Golden Goose.

    It may be in general Microsofts goal to get a grip on open source, and maybe MS to get that, asked Novell to sign the patent part of the agreement ‘not to sue eachothers customers over -possible- patent issues’. But Novell always said there just are no known patent issue’s at the moment.

    So, one could argue weather Novell then should have signed that part of the agreement or not. Fact is that a lot of customers today not using open source software are afraid of using it cause of the possibility to get sued. So, still I think it’s a good way to get those customers who are afraid of these -possible- patent issues on Linux and to use more open source software.

    Also I’m not blind to see what Microsoft tries to do, or at least tries to get us to believe, that there are patent issues. Maybe Novell/Xandros/LG/.. do pay MS for certain patents they own (or the other way around), that would be fare in how patents work today. If we don’t like that in general then we need to change the patent system, or the code to work around these issues. As far as I know Novell never said that the paid MS for patents they own in open source code. Novell may pay MS for patents in closed souce code or the fact that MS provides coupons for SLES, which I do not have a problem with.

    I fully agree with you that benefit’s Novell in the first place. But on the other hand all that Novell sells benefit’s the community cause the open source code Novell makes flows back to all of us. This part of the business model is the same for all company’s making money out of open source software. These company’s charge for support and additional closed or open source services they may provide. Also that’s the model for open source code; one enhances the part of the code that one needs (to get better code and eat your own dogfood) and for anyone free to use. If one does not need the paid support or services then get a free disto from the net. But if one wants to pay for support and the additional services then get your distro and services from a company that get’s you what you need to do your business.

    The agreement may save customers from a sue over patent issues, but MS and Novell can still sue each other. Then also Novell’s behind a lot of patents they say will be used to defend open source and Linux. So, only time will tell what happens when either the convernant between Novell and MS end in a few years, or MS really start to sue open souce company’s tomorrow. What then Novell does? Then they need to work arround the issues that may rise, by defending the patents targeted or helping with working around the issues. If they don’t they will kill their own business model. I think that will not happen cause if say if Red Hat get’s sued over a patent in open source code and looses, then Novell would loose.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 10, 2007 at 7:39 am

    Gravatar

    > I fully agree with you that benefit’s Novell in the
    > first place. But on the other hand all that Novell
    > sells benefit’s the community cause the open
    > source code Novell makes flows back to all of us.

    Free software developers (and I consider myself one of them) thrive in trust, openness, reciprocity, and sharing. I am afraid that Novell leaves many others exposed to some threat — however illusionary it may be (even an illusion that is pure FUD can be damaging). Patents are not the only issue at hand. have a look, for example, at our past discussions on interoperability (e.g. Samba and document formats). The deal was carefully written to leave Free software in the dark ages, unless it is willing to pay Microsoft royalties, which is absurd. It gives proprietary software the upper hand in a world that should rely on free and open standards.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 27/1/2022: Mabox Linux 21.11 Herbolth and PipeWire 0.3.44

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 26, 2022



  3. [Meme] EPO: Pursuing an Eastern and Western District of Europe (for Patent Trolls and Software Patents)

    With the EPO so flagrantly lying and paying for misinformation maybe we should expect Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos to have delusions of grandeur… such as presiding over the Eastern and Western District of Europe, just like Mr. Gilstrap and Mr. Albright (political appointment by Donald Trump, ushering in “the swamp”)



  4. Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

    As shown in the charts above (updated an hour ago), the relative share of ‘Linux’ Foundation (LE/LF; same thing, same office) in the capsules’ certificates has decreased over time; more and more (in terms of proportion) capsules choose to sign their own certificate/s; the concept of ‘fake security’ (centralisation and consolidation) should be rejected universally because it leaves nobody safe except plutocrats



  5. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC



  6. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

    The 'Ministry of Truth' of the patent world is turning the EPO's Web site into a propaganda mill, a misinformation farm, and a laughing stock with stock photography



  7. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

    Microsoft boosters such as Bogdan Popa and Mark Hachman work overtime on distraction from the failure Vista 11 has been (the share of Windows continues to fall relative to other platforms)



  8. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

    Links for the day



  9. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)



  10. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)



  11. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



  13. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  14. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  15. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  16. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  17. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  18. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  19. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  20. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  22. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  24. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  25. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  26. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  27. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  28. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  30. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts